Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ritual objects

One of the ideas rattling around in the studio has to do with the suit as ritual object. The disembodied suit is a receptacle of potential power...but only potential. Like the African masquerade costumes, it only releases its mysterious power when inhabited by a body. That body then becomes the powerful one. The personality and even the body of the wearer is subsumed by the resident spirit of the ritual object. So this suit, one of the first disembodied suits, floats in the air, above Ophelia's flowers, full of potential. I find it both lighthearted and malevolent at the same time. It is liminal object, neither one thing nor another, which, if I remember my brief reading of ethnography a few years ago, is one of the hallmark characteristics of ritual objects or events.

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